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Cannot Figure this Fatigue Out

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Cannot Figure this Fatigue Out

Old 05-26-18, 09:36 PM
  #1  
hexron
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Cannot Figure this Fatigue Out

For a couple years I've been haphazardly riding and trying to get to my goal: 50mi ride averaging 16mph. I've just recently started looking at more structured training, but figure I will wait until winter since there's so much nice summer right now.

Problem is - I just get so tired after rides and so grumpy that I think my wife is going to take my bike away. For the past few weeks I've been averaging between 4-6hr on the bike with one day devoted to a 40mi ride where I try to keep a pretty high average - which for me is 15-17mph. I'm pretty sure I'm consuming enough carbs/water etc. I usually try to eat the night before good and during the ride will take a few gels - which I realize is probably overkill for 40mi - I just want to be sure my later fatigue isn't carb related. When I've come off the last couple 40mi rides - I'm really depleted. About 20 to 30min after these rides I hit a crazy wall or something and just have to lay down for a little bit.

Yesterday I did the 40mi and was pretty sore. Today I worked out with dumbells in the morning for 45min, light weight. Then after a short nap in the afternoon rode casually to the store and back - about 10mi. Granted it was really hot out - but I drank a whole 24oz bottle of Nuun - average was 13mph. Well for the rest of the day I was a just a tired, cranky ahole. Had to go straight to Starbucks for some iced coffee just to get me through the rest of the day. I just feel I should not be this tired for the expenditure of energy and how focused on nutrition I am.

Other symptoms that probably contribute:
Age late 40s.
Kids wake us up at least once a night.
Lots of family stress.
2cups of coffee in morning - 1cup afternoon.

Might have to give up the bike for a while until I get this figured out which makes me pretty sad.
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Old 05-26-18, 10:24 PM
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For me it wasn't carbs at all, but protein-- that is, not getting enough of it. I assumed I was sufficiently refueling after rides, but would have persistent fatigue and muscle soreness. I had started using the MyFitnessPal app to track calories, and it changes macros based on exercise-- and on days when I would do big rides, it would recommend I intake what I thought were ridiculous amounts of protein-- like +200g per day. But they were right. I try to take in +100g of protein a day (I ride daily) and I am far less fatigued and the chronic leg soreness is gone. Greek yogurt is now one of my go-to snacks, because I can get 12g of protein for all of 100-120 calories.

I recommend the app, as well as increased protein intake, along with just you know, riding more. 4-6 hours a week isn't much, unless the training is extremely structured. I don't do any sort of structured/timed/interval training, but my last century was 108 miles @ 19mph. I just ride a lot.
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Old 05-26-18, 10:28 PM
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I would suggest getting better rest at night, skip the afternoon coffee.

Do what you can to minimize stress. (Including getting better rest.) Family stress definitely bleeds into training and some of it counts as ďtraining stressĒ. But not the productive kind that produces improvement on the bike. The counterproductive kind . If your training goal is a source of stress, consider abandoning it.

Take 1-2 days per week rest- not just off the bike but not working out at all. Every 3 week, take a rest week- cut your riding by 50-75%. Donít try to ride hard every day.

Eat food with high nutritional value when youíre off the bike, including sufficient protein and plenty of vegetables.

For the duration of time youíre on the bike, youíre eating more than you need to. You can train yourself to eat less, although I donít think thatís the reason youíre fatigued.

If none of that helps, see a doctor to rule out a medical cause.

Also: structured training might really help you. If you want results, thatís often the most efficient way to obtain them. And still leave time and energy for your family.

Last edited by Heathpack; 05-26-18 at 10:33 PM.
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Old 05-26-18, 10:32 PM
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Oh wait, I didn’t catch that you’re only riding 4-6 hours per week. That’s maybe 2 rides per week? That’s not much.
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Old 05-26-18, 10:48 PM
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Assuming a balanced diet, the next step would be a physical.

At age 60 I felt like I'd plateaued this spring but should be stronger and faster. I was working out hard and methodically, with plenty of rest, good diet, supplements, etc. But I was still the slowest of the 50+ local group. Oh, I was good for some Strava top tens on a few segments on good days, but I couldn't sustain it for any distance, especially climbs. I'd be gasping for air, wheezing like a leaky accordion. Even the guys 50 lbs overweight were blowing past me on climbs, and I'm only 5 lbs over my optimal weight. I just couldn't seem to breathe.

It took getting my shoulder broken, hit by a car a couple of weeks ago, to narrow down the likely problems.

I was scheduled for shoulder surgery last week. The anesthesiologist was very thorough and after checking me over carefully for several minutes he said "Nope, I don't like this," palpating my throat. My thyroid is so swollen it's constricted my trachea and shoved it at least an inch sideways. Not only could I not be intubated -- my trachea is constricted smaller than an infant's -- but it would be difficult to reach my trachea for an emergency cut down to get an airway if all else failed. The doctors were surprised I could ride a bike at all, let alone averaging around 16 mph on my favorite local 20-40 mile routes.

Clearly I have worse health issues than a broken shoulder, although that's been painful as hell.

And apparently this thyroid problem dates back several years. I remember a doctor telling me I had the early warning signs of Hashimoto's about 15 years ago. But I was just taking levothyroxine and not giving it much more thought. I didn't follow through on my suspicion that something was wrong. I'd have days with bursts of energy, followed by days when I could hardly get out of bed or walk to the bathroom. I just figured I needed to keep working out harder. I kept hearing the voice of my military PT instructor from 40+ years ago hollering "Pain is beautiful, bud! If it doesn't hurt, you ain't doing it right!"

So, when all else fails, see a doctor.

Looks like my delay in doing so will sideline me most of the rest of the year. I'm hoping to be cleared to ride an indoor trainer soon, since a friend is lending me a recumbent and trainer to keep pressure off the shoulder.
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Old 05-27-18, 06:11 AM
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Hey, I'm a "bit" older but I can relate. Two things that turned things around for me. One REST REST REST. I had poor sleep habits. A good nights sleep works wonders. Afternoon nap? Don't push hard all the time, coast, enjoy your rides. That's why interval training is so effective because there is recovery time built in. Don't get obsessed with speed all the time. I was stuck at 17 MPH on a 15 mile loop for a long time. Did the above for a time and tried this course again and was astonded on how good/strong I felt and clocked 18.4 MPH.
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Old 05-27-18, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by hexron View Post
I just feel I should not be this tired for the expenditure of energy and how focused on nutrition I am.
When is the doctor's appointment you've made ... I presume you've made a doctor's appointment.

First ... see a doctor.
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Old 05-27-18, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
For me it wasn't carbs at all, but protein-- that is, not getting enough of it. I assumed I was sufficiently refueling after rides, but would have persistent fatigue and muscle soreness. I had started using the MyFitnessPal app to track calories, and it changes macros based on exercise-- and on days when I would do big rides, it would recommend I intake what I thought were ridiculous amounts of protein-- like +200g per day. But they were right. I try to take in +100g of protein a day (I ride daily) and I am far less fatigued and the chronic leg soreness is gone. Greek yogurt is now one of my go-to snacks, because I can get 12g of protein for all of 100-120 calories.

I recommend the app, as well as increased protein intake, along with just you know, riding more. 4-6 hours a week isn't much, unless the training is extremely structured. I don't do any sort of structured/timed/interval training, but my last century was 108 miles @ 19mph. I just ride a lot.
Thanks will give this a shot. I feel like other people I know get invigorated after a good ride - I want to feel good after a medium effort ride and not like I have to lay down.
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Old 05-27-18, 01:41 PM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Heathpack View Post
I would suggest getting better rest at night, skip the afternoon coffee.

Do what you can to minimize stress. (Including getting better rest.) Family stress definitely bleeds into training and some of it counts as ďtraining stressĒ. But not the productive kind that produces improvement on the bike. The counterproductive kind . If your training goal is a source of stress, consider abandoning it.

Take 1-2 days per week rest- not just off the bike but not working out at all. Every 3 week, take a rest week- cut your riding by 50-75%. Donít try to ride hard every day.

Eat food with high nutritional value when youíre off the bike, including sufficient protein and plenty of vegetables.

For the duration of time youíre on the bike, youíre eating more than you need to. You can train yourself to eat less, although I donít think thatís the reason youíre fatigued.

If none of that helps, see a doctor to rule out a medical cause.

Also: structured training might really help you. If you want results, thatís often the most efficient way to obtain them. And still leave time and energy for your family.
Thanks so much for the pointers. I've been listening to the TrainerRoad Coach Podcast and am going to reset this winter and try to build more Aerobic capacity with some basic structured training.
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Old 05-27-18, 01:43 PM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Assuming a balanced diet, the next step would be a physical.

At age 60 I felt like I'd plateaued this spring but should be stronger and faster. I was working out hard and methodically, with plenty of rest, good diet, supplements, etc. But I was still the slowest of the 50+ local group. Oh, I was good for some Strava top tens on a few segments on good days, but I couldn't sustain it for any distance, especially climbs. I'd be gasping for air, wheezing like a leaky accordion. Even the guys 50 lbs overweight were blowing past me on climbs, and I'm only 5 lbs over my optimal weight. I just couldn't seem to breathe.

It took getting my shoulder broken, hit by a car a couple of weeks ago, to narrow down the likely problems.

I was scheduled for shoulder surgery last week. The anesthesiologist was very thorough and after checking me over carefully for several minutes he said "Nope, I don't like this," palpating my throat. My thyroid is so swollen it's constricted my trachea and shoved it at least an inch sideways. Not only could I not be intubated -- my trachea is constricted smaller than an infant's -- but it would be difficult to reach my trachea for an emergency cut down to get an airway if all else failed. The doctors were surprised I could ride a bike at all, let alone averaging around 16 mph on my favorite local 20-40 mile routes.

Clearly I have worse health issues than a broken shoulder, although that's been painful as hell.

And apparently this thyroid problem dates back several years. I remember a doctor telling me I had the early warning signs of Hashimoto's about 15 years ago. But I was just taking levothyroxine and not giving it much more thought. I didn't follow through on my suspicion that something was wrong. I'd have days with bursts of energy, followed by days when I could hardly get out of bed or walk to the bathroom. I just figured I needed to keep working out harder. I kept hearing the voice of my military PT instructor from 40+ years ago hollering "Pain is beautiful, bud! If it doesn't hurt, you ain't doing it right!"

So, when all else fails, see a doctor.

Looks like my delay in doing so will sideline me most of the rest of the year. I'm hoping to be cleared to ride an indoor trainer soon, since a friend is lending me a recumbent and trainer to keep pressure off the shoulder.
Whoa! That's quite the road through to a solution. Yes, I'm going to find a good doc I think.
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Old 05-27-18, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Ald1 View Post
Hey, I'm a "bit" older but I can relate. Two things that turned things around for me. One REST REST REST. I had poor sleep habits. A good nights sleep works wonders. Afternoon nap? Don't push hard all the time, coast, enjoy your rides. That's why interval training is so effective because there is recovery time built in. Don't get obsessed with speed all the time. I was stuck at 17 MPH on a 15 mile loop for a long time. Did the above for a time and tried this course again and was astonded on how good/strong I felt and clocked 18.4 MPH.
Rockin
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Old 06-07-18, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by hexron View Post
For a couple years I've been haphazardly riding and trying to get to my goal: 50mi ride averaging 16mph. I've just recently started looking at more structured training, but figure I will wait until winter since there's so much nice summer right now.

Problem is - I just get so tired after rides and so grumpy that I think my wife is going to take my bike away. For the past few weeks I've been averaging between 4-6hr on the bike with one day devoted to a 40mi ride where I try to keep a pretty high average - which for me is 15-17mph. I'm pretty sure I'm consuming enough carbs/water etc. I usually try to eat the night before good and during the ride will take a few gels - which I realize is probably overkill for 40mi - I just want to be sure my later fatigue isn't carb related. When I've come off the last couple 40mi rides - I'm really depleted. About 20 to 30min after these rides I hit a crazy wall or something and just have to lay down for a little bit.

Yesterday I did the 40mi and was pretty sore. Today I worked out with dumbells in the morning for 45min, light weight. Then after a short nap in the afternoon rode casually to the store and back - about 10mi. Granted it was really hot out - but I drank a whole 24oz bottle of Nuun - average was 13mph. Well for the rest of the day I was a just a tired, cranky ahole. Had to go straight to Starbucks for some iced coffee just to get me through the rest of the day. I just feel I should not be this tired for the expenditure of energy and how focused on nutrition I am.

Other symptoms that probably contribute:
Age late 40s.
Kids wake us up at least once a night.
Lots of family stress.
2cups of coffee in morning - 1cup afternoon.

Might have to give up the bike for a while until I get this figured out which makes me pretty sad.
so how much sleep do u get do u think? I spoke to a guy recently who got by on 4hrs which is ridiculousness. I need 6 or 7 sleeping with 1 hours riding per day. Otherwise I can't work. Lots of errors..
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Old 06-07-18, 12:48 PM
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Before going too far into physicals, doctors and nutrition and so forth, consider that it could also be a simple matter of conditioning. I have experienced the same thing (still do) when I push hard outside of my comfort zone. It doesn't matter what the distance is either, or how fast, it's a matter of my current fitness level and what I tried to do. If I feel slammed after the ride, 30 or 40 minutes later a feeling of lassitude and want to take a nap, it's because I pushed beyond what I was used to. Also if I got hot and dehydrated, but you said that didn't happen.

That can be tested IMO. Just do the same or similar ride the next week, and the week after, and if the physical symptoms lessen or disappear then congratulations you're more fit. You might need more miles in between though, to hang onto whatever gains you may get from one workout.
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Old 06-07-18, 05:20 PM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by hexron View Post
Thanks so much for the pointers. I've been listening to the TrainerRoad Coach Podcast and am going to reset this winter and try to build more Aerobic capacity with some basic structured training.
Why wait 'til winter? What are you going to do in the next 6 months?

I'd say get a smart trainer and begin Traditional Base Low Volume asap. After you're done with that, do Sweet Spot Base Low Volume. That'll leave the Build and Specialty phases for the winter.

Ride outdoors once a week.
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Old 06-08-18, 09:02 AM
  #15  
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Short answer follows assuming no medical issues...

You are clearly overdoing it and need to take a full week completely off the bike.

Until you can establish a baseline intensity, duration and frequency that works for you, I'd start with the following:
  • Drop the distance and speed of your 40 mile rides. You should feel BETTER after your rides, not worse.
  • Reduce your hours per week to 3-4 hours. Three would be better to start.
  • Begin closely monitoring your...
    • resting heart rate
    • stress (or in your case just anything you can do at least cope better with the stress)
    • sleep quality (or in your case just realize that low sleep quality ==> slower recovery ==> need to reduce workout frequency)
    • energy (you shouldn't feel depleted by your workouts)
    • appetite (any unusual changes, especially excess craving of carbs may signal an issue)
    • mood (you shouldn't be more cranky than normal ; instead your mood should be elevated from workouts)
    • motivation (loss of motivation is indicator that you're overdoing it)
  • Ride the same route for your long ride and look for a steady improvement in relative heart rate (over time due to varying conditions outdoors) before increasing speed or distance
Feel free to PM me with any questions or when you're ready to move indoors.

With a smart trainer, the right metrics and a bit of knowledge, finding the right combination of intensity, duration and frequency can be surprisingly straightforward.

Last edited by fstrnu; 06-08-18 at 09:08 AM. Reason: grammar
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Old 06-10-18, 08:43 AM
  #16  
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What sorcery might this be? A good discussion on BF...

Have any of you found HRV helpful at all? It’s an easy download on a smart phone. I use it as a meditation guide, but it’s supposed to be helpful monitoring physical stress as well.
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Old 06-10-18, 09:06 AM
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What's your height and weight? Are you consuming enough food throughout the week - trying eating some more proteins and fats. Sugary carb focused diet could be a problem. I get my vegetables by cheating and buying the steamer bags, often with the sauce. Complex carbs are the key to good health.

You didn't mention what you eat after riding? This along with your need to nap makes me think you're just hangry. Immediately after you dismount consume something with fat, protein and a little sugar, I like a cup of chocolate milk. Eat eat eat. A cold sandwich is great and takes a minute to make. PB&J is awesome as well.
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Old 06-10-18, 05:34 PM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by GrainBrain View Post
What's your height and weight? Are you consuming enough food throughout the week - trying eating some more proteins and fats. Sugary carb focused diet could be a problem. I get my vegetables by cheating and buying the steamer bags, often with the sauce. Complex carbs are the key to good health.

You didn't mention what you eat after riding? This along with your need to nap makes me think you're just hangry. Immediately after you dismount consume something with fat, protein and a little sugar, I like a cup of chocolate milk. Eat eat eat. A cold sandwich is great and takes a minute to make. PB&J is awesome as well.
One doesn't really need carbs at all to be in good health.
Seeing a doctor and getting some tests done is the first on the list. If one has a medical issue, all the advice in the world isn't going to help until the issue is addressed.
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Old 06-10-18, 05:37 PM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by Lucillle View Post
One doesn't really need carbs at all to be in good health.
Seeing a doctor and getting some tests done is the first on the list. If one has a medical issue, all the advice in the world isn't going to help until the issue is addressed.
Oh yeah that should be first. Just throwing out an idea if the doctor clears him.
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Old 06-18-18, 07:45 PM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by fstrnu View Post
Drop the distance and speed of your 40 mile rides. You should feel BETTER after your rides, not worse.
  • energy (you shouldn't feel depleted by your workouts)
Unless one is riding super-slow and short, how do you feel better after a ride, and not depleted to some degree? Not critiquing, but I'm genuinely curious about this concept, because it's entirely the opposite for my legs/body.
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Old 06-18-18, 07:49 PM
  #21  
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I feel better after every ride that doesn't end in carb depletion / dehydration / etc. So that is, most of them. Even after Onyx Summit last weekend (8,850 vertical feet in 60 miles) I felt good afterward. Sure, I ate enough food for 3 people, but I felt fine. Put in 30 miles the next morning.
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Old 06-19-18, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Dreww10 View Post
Unless one is riding super-slow and short, how do you feel better after a ride, and not depleted to some degree? Not critiquing, but I'm genuinely curious about this concept, because it's entirely the opposite for my legs/body.
That's OK but you should never feel bad, other than after an event. You should be in a good mood and able to perform all duties for the day with no problem. If you can't, you are working too hard with opportunity cost of lower training frequency. The goal needs to be maximizing sustainable load within available time. If you're going to be off the bike for five days or something then let 'r rip!
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Old 06-19-18, 06:47 PM
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When you're purposefully, really rockin' it, the recovery day(s) need to be a lot less of a workout-- e.g., if cycling, just light spinning to keep the legs moving. Recovery has become a science-- there's a lot written about it and hopefully, it's all baloney because, I think you're breaking all the rules.
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Old 07-02-18, 08:50 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by hexron View Post
For a couple years I've been haphazardly riding and trying to get to my goal: 50mi ride averaging 16mph. I've just recently started looking at more structured training, but figure I will wait until winter since there's so much nice summer right now.
Problem is - I just get so tired after rides and so grumpy that I think my wife is going to take my bike away..
Glad you wrote this- I am in the same boat- Well - except I am 68, with grandkids, and a max heart rate of about 160.. and an average speed of 13-14MPH, and about 40 pounds over weight.... But hey , other than that- just like you!!

So far long ride has been 40 miles (pay no attention to the young uns falling over laughing) but that wiped me out for 2 days. I have been taking a spin class twice a week as I thought that was more of an HIT workout. that class is hard (60 minutes) - but I get through it - usually have enough let over to do a half hour in the weight room (not sure that is very smart, but I like it) problem is I think I am not getting enough recovery .

I am trying to maintain an 1800 calorie diet to lose weight (not working) and find I am not sleeping well, and generally very crabby. The thread has some great comments- so thanks for writing this.

Len
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Old 07-02-18, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by hexron View Post
For a couple years I've been haphazardly riding and trying to get to my goal: 50mi ride averaging 16mph. I've just recently started looking at more structured training, but figure I will wait until winter since there's so much nice summer right now.

Problem is - I just get so tired after rides and so grumpy that I think my wife is going to take my bike away. For the past few weeks I've been averaging between 4-6hr on the bike with one day devoted to a 40mi ride where I try to keep a pretty high average - which for me is 15-17mph. I'm pretty sure I'm consuming enough carbs/water etc. I usually try to eat the night before good and during the ride will take a few gels - which I realize is probably overkill for 40mi - I just want to be sure my later fatigue isn't carb related. When I've come off the last couple 40mi rides - I'm really depleted. About 20 to 30min after these rides I hit a crazy wall or something and just have to lay down for a little bit.

Yesterday I did the 40mi and was pretty sore. Today I worked out with dumbells in the morning for 45min, light weight. Then after a short nap in the afternoon rode casually to the store and back - about 10mi. Granted it was really hot out - but I drank a whole 24oz bottle of Nuun - average was 13mph. Well for the rest of the day I was a just a tired, cranky ahole. Had to go straight to Starbucks for some iced coffee just to get me through the rest of the day. I just feel I should not be this tired for the expenditure of energy and how focused on nutrition I am.

Other symptoms that probably contribute:
Age late 40s.
Kids wake us up at least once a night.
Lots of family stress.
2cups of coffee in morning - 1cup afternoon.

Might have to give up the bike for a while until I get this figured out which makes me pretty sad.

What kind of bike are you riding? Is the frame a good fit for you? Sometimes it's just a matter of improper body mechanics causing you to "fight" the bike, wasting way more energy than you realize you're generating.

Also, seeing as how stressed you are generally, be careful not to over-emphasize some arbitrary goal--you might just be converting what should be an outlet for relaxed fitness training into yet another source of stress that will cause you to burn out on it.
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